Weekly update - 22 February 2018

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 21 February 2018 rainfall was recorded in western, northern and eastern Australia and isolated parts of south-eastern Australia.
  • Tropical Cyclone Kelvin brought rainfall totals exceeding 400 millimetres to the western Top End of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley region of Western Australia, with isolated totals up to 100 millimetres extending all the way through central Western Australia.
  • Maximum temperatures were 2°C to 8°C above average across north eastern Australia during the week ending 20 February 2018. The highest anomalies (4°C to 8°C) were recorded in northern New South Wales, Queensland, north eastern South Australia and south eastern South Australia.
  • The Australian Plague Locust Commission report that very low locust population level during spring continued in December and January. No high density locusts have been detected or reported, despite rainfall producing short-lived favourable habitat conditions in many areas.
  • During the next eight days rainfall is expected in all states and territories, with the heaviest falls forecast across the north eastern half of Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 22 January 2018 by 247 gigalitres (GL) to 12,873 GL and are at 57 per cent of total capacity. This is 16 percentage points or 3,658 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray-Darling Basin decreased in the week ending 22 February 2018 to $99 per ML. This is a decline of $7 from the same time last week.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 21 February 2018 rainfall was recorded in western, northern and eastern Australia and isolated parts of south-eastern Australia. Tropical Cyclone Kelvin brought rainfall totals exceeding 400 millimetres to the western Top End of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley region of Western Australia, with isolated totals up to 100 millimetres extending all the way through central Western Australia. Rainfall totals exceeding 100 millimetres were also recorded in northern and the eastern half of Queensland. Totals between 10 and 50 millimetres were observed in isolated parts of eastern New South Wales, eastern Victoria, southern South Australia and Tasmania. The highest recorded weekly total was 576 millimetres at West Roebuck near Broome in the northern Western Australia.

Rainfall - week ending 21 February 2018

Map showing weekly rainfall totals in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.  

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 21/02/2018

Note: The rainfall analyses and associated maps utilise data contained in the Bureau of Meteorology climate database, the Australian Data Archive for Meteorology (ADAM). The analyses are initially produced automatically from real-time data with limited quality control. They are intended to provide a general overview of rainfall across Australia as quickly as possible after the observations are received. For further information go to Weekly Rainfall Update.

Temperature anomalies this week

For the week ending 20 February 2018, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 8°C above average across north eastern Australia, with the highest anomalies (4°C to 8°C) recorded in northern New South Wales, Queensland, north eastern South Australia and south eastern South Australia. Maximum temperatures were -2°C to -6°C below average around Wyndham in northern Western Australia. Minimum temperatures were generally close to average for most of the country, although they were above average (2°C to 6°C) across inland parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 20 February 2018

Map showing maximum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 20/02/2018

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 20 February 2018

Map showing minimum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.] 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 20/02/2018

Note: Spatial temperature analyses are based on historical weekly temperature data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. These temperature anomaly maps show the departure of the maximum and minimum temperatures from their long-term averages. Temperature anomalies are calculated using high-resolution gridded datasets from 1911 onwards. For further information go to Daily maximum temperature for Australia.

Australian Plague Locust

The Australian Plague Locust Commission (APLC) produces a monthly Locust Bulletin during the periods of locust activity (spring, summer and autumn). The bulletin gives regional summaries of the locust situation and weather events of potential significance for locust development. It also provides a forecast of likely developments for the next two months (or from autumn to spring) for the Australian plague locust (Chortoicetes terminifera), spur-throated locust (Austracris guttulosa), and the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria).

According to the APLC, the very low locust population level during spring continued in December and January. No high density locusts have been detected or reported, despite rainfall producing short-lived favourable habitat conditions in many areas. Low numbers of locusts were recorded in the Riverina, Far West and Far Southwest of New South Wales, and the Central West, South Central and Central Highlands regions of Queensland during January. Small increases in population density were detected in the Central Highlands and South Central regions of Queensland. Although some localised low density breeding is likely to have occurred in other regions areas during December and January, most habitats dried out rapidly and extreme temperatures are likely to have caused increased mortality of nymphs and adults.

The outlook for February and autumn is for population densities to remain generally low in most regions of inland eastern Australia. Breeding is likely to continue during February and autumn, but given the current low population level there is a low risk of widespread regional infestations developing, and a very low risk of swarms affecting any agricultural region during autumn. The probability of a significant autumn nymph generation has declined, although localised higher density populations could develop if widespread heavy rainfall occurs during February.

For further information, go to Australian Plague Locust Commission

Australian Plague Locust Distribution 1 to 31 January 2018

 

Densities estimated for areas of locust habitat, based on current surveys and reports from current and previous month.
©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Issued: 01/02/2018

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is expected in all states and territories during the next eight days, with the heaviest falls forecast across the north eastern half of Australia. Parts of northern Queensland are expected to record rainfall totals in excess of 400 millimetres due to a number of low pressure systems and troughs passing during the week. Rainfall totals between 50 and 100 millimetres are predicted in the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia. Rainfall up to 50 millimetres are expected across southern Queensland, northern and eastern New South Wales and Tasmania.

This rainfall forecast is produced from computer models. As it contains no input from weather forecasters, it is important to check local forecasts and warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 22 February to 1 March 2018

Map of the total forecast rainfall for the next 8 days. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: ©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 22/02/2018

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 22 February 2018 by 247 gigalitres (GL) to 12,873 GL and are at 57 per cent of total capacity. This is 16 percentage points or 3,658 GL less than at the same time last year.

Visit the interactive Tableau data dashboard

Water storages in the Murray-Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland)

Line graph showing water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) from 2001 to 2018, measured as a percentage of the total storage of 22,598 gigalitres. 

Information on water available in dams used for irrigation the Murray–Darling Basin from 1 January 2001 to 22 February 2018 is shown above. The top horizontal (short dash) line indicates the storage level during a similar time last year. The bottom horizontal (long dash) line indicates the amount of ‘dead’ or unusable storage.

Water allocations

On 15 February 2018 the Resource Manager for Northern Victoria announced seasonal determination increases of:

  • 3 per cent for Victoria Campaspe low reliability to 55 per cent

The current water allocations for the 2017–18 water trading season for licence holders in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia water systems are summarised in the following table and charts.

Water allocations in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and South Australia)

Allocations at

22 February 2018

15 February 2018

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

49%

97%

49%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

34%

95%

34%

95%

NSW Lower Darling

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Macquarie and Cudgegong

38%

100%

38%

100%

NSW Hunter

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lachlan

2%

100%

2%

100%

NSW Lower Namoi

7%

100%

7%

100%

NSW Upper Namoi

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Gwydir

18%

100%

18%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/19.62%(b)

100%

100%(a)/19.62%(b)

100%

NSW Peel

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Campaspe

55%

100%

52%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

100%

100%

100%

100%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

Select water allocation percentages in the southern Murray-Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin decreased in the week ending 22 February 2018 to $99 per ML. This is a decline of $7 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $104 in January across the whole southern MDB, and $70 during the same time last year.

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray–Darling Basin

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray-Darling Basin. The trades shown reflect market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray-Darling Basin.  

The trades shown reflect estimated market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray–Darling Basin. Data shown is current until 22 February 2018. Trade activity is shown as colour density.

Allocation trade prices, southern Murray–Darling Basin trade zones

 

Southern MDB

Victoria Goulburn

SA Murray

NSW Murrumbidgee

Victoria Murray

NSW Murray

Current week:
16/02/18 – 22/02/18

$99.37

$81.71

$120.00

$137.36

$107.12

$109.28

Last week:
09/02/18 – 15/02/18

$106.32

$80.42

$108.46

$127.36

$107.77

$107.62

December 2017

$103.88

$80.07

$108.62

$123.27

$111.41

$110.82

December 2016

$69.64

$66.99

$117.20

$40.38

$70.26

$71.53

Commodities

Current indicators – 22 February 2018

IndicatorWeek endedUnitLatest pricePrice week priorWeekly changePrice 12 months priorYear on year changeChart

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate21-FebUS$/A$0.790.781%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.0.773%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf20-FebUS$/t239237<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.21312%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf21-FebUS$/t1631630%164<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga20-FebUS$/t434430<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.451-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index21-FebUSc/lb86.887.3<1% This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.84.72%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract21-FebUSc/lb13.413.6-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.20.5-35%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator15-FebAc/kg clean1,8121,818<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,44026%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator09-FebAc/kg clean1,9211,8196%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,47231%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic crop indicator prices

Milling Wheat – ASW1, track quote, Port Adelaide, SA20-FebA$/t2372370%18230%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW21-FebA$/t2702700%20631%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW21-FebA$/t2742740%18548%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.19-FebA$/t501510-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.524-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW21-FebA$/t3003000%23926%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator15-FebAc/kg cwt525538-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.637-18%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18-24 kg fat score 2-3), Vic16-FebAc/kg cwt368378-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.474-22%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator15-FebAc/kg cwt601630-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.664-9%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1-75 kg), average of buyers & sellers09-FebAc/kg cwt2772770%365-24%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1-16 kg)19-FebAc/kg cwt466478-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.651-28%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia17-FebAc/kg lwt3203200%375-15%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East12-Feb$/head97122-20%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.110-12%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder20-FebUS$/t3,2463,226<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,1892%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder20-FebUS$/t1,8321,932-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,574-29%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese20-FebUS$/t3,6863,739-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,5903%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat20-FebUS$/t6,4586,581-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.5,69313%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

a Global Dairy Trade prices are updated twice monthly on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Movements in selected fruit and vegetable prices
Data attribution

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Last reviewed:
22 Feb 2018